Ride a bike, share your experience and love. When I go biking, I repeat a mantra of the day's sensations: bright sun, blue sky, warm breeze, blue jay's call, ice melting and so on. This helps me transcend the traffic, ignore the clamorings of work, leave all the mind theaters behind and focus on nature instead. I still must abide by the rules of the road, of biking, of gravity. But I am mentally far away from civilization. The world is breaking someone else's heart. ~Diane Ackerman

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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Glendora Mountain Road to Mt Baldy a la FIXED GEAR

So I did it, I finally made it to Mt Baldy by way of Glendora Mountain Road via my fixed gear bike.  Yep, I rode every inch of the way.

Saturday, I left the house with the idea I would get to at least Fork Plus 4.  Fork plus 4 is a great goal to have and I have done it once before via fixed gear.  At about Fork plus 4, GRR starts heading down before the long climb that continues until mile marker 8 (8.29 to be exact).

Mile Marker 4 also represents a sort of mental road block.  Anything past and you have entered an increasing point of no return.  As you eat up miles, there comes a point where you might as well ride to Mt. Baldy.  The trick for me was, do I attempt riding to Mt. Baldy and either A. Ride back the way I came, or B. Bomb down Mt. Baldy Road fixie style.

If I ride back the way I came, where do I decide to turn around.  Will I have enough left in the tank to even make it home.  Then there is option B. riding home via Mt. Baldy. You can easily reach 40 to 50 mph down Mt. Baldy.  At 46 x 15 there is no way my legs can spin to reach these speeds and coasting is not happening on the fixie.  Bombing down Mt. Baldy on my fixed gear scares the snot out of me. 

So lets back up in my story.  So I get to GMR and Sierra Madre.  I head up and just past Boulder Springs Drive, it starts getting steep and I think to myself, "Wow, I am tired."  I start second guessing my goal of Fork plus 4.  I tell myself just keep going, its a chill ride.  I continue eating up miles and I see a rider about 100 feet ahead of me just past Marilyn Monroe (MM 10.49).  I stop, take of picture of Marilyn and think to myself, "How fun a rabbit!"  I get back on my bike, pick up the pace and start reeling him in.  I catch him at Newmans.

After Newmans I realize, I actually feel really good and have made great time. By East Fork I had already beaten my best time (On Fixed Gear) by three minutes.  The rabbit catches up to me on the rollers between Fork Plus 1 and 2 and we ride together thru MM 4.  On the descent past MM 4 he passes me and I tell myself I will hang with him until I get dropped.  Between MM 4 and Mt Baldy the rabbit kept a decent distance that gradually increased as we made it to MM 8.29.  After MM 8.29, he was gone, but I was essentially past the point of no return.  So, what the hell, I rode into Mt. Baldy.

I made it to Baldy and now I had to decide on either getting back the way I came or bombing down Mt. Baldy.  The former seemed so LONG and boring, so I decided to take my chances and ride down Mt. Baldy.  Yeah, it was crazy and scary and borderline insane but I managed, with the frequent use of my front brake, to get down in one piece.  I essentially had to pump my front brake every few seconds to maintain control. Would I ever try it brake-less, NO WAY!

Well, I made it to Mt; Baldy fixed. Another goal achieved. 


Doug said...

Congrats on your ride from "The Rabbit"

BicycleFriends said...

Thank you. Riding fixed is a lot of fun. I think next year I will try for the lifts.

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